Tag Archives: dog portraits

My, What Big Ears You Have!

painting of Corgi black and white

“Clara the Corgi”, mixed media copyright Kerry McFall

I met Clara the Corgi last fall in Knoxville when she was still a puppy, looking for all the world like she was made out of spare parts: German Shepherd ears, quarter-scale Australian Shepherd legs, Basset Hound body, intense cartoon Mouse face… At that time, she could climb the stairs to get to the bedrooms, but she couldn’t figure out how to get back down.  Things aren’t much different now – the spare parts have all grown, but in the same mis-matched scale as before. However, she has developed the “coiling slinky toy” technique for getting downstairs, alternating front end to the east and rear end to the west, two steps at a time.  My Dad would have called that technique “ass over teakettle”.

She takes her security guard cues from Tay, a large (and slightly slow-witted) black Labrador, when anyone approaches the house or drives up the drive.  Clara trots up and stares urgently at Tay, the question clear on her face, “What should we do, Boss?!”  Tay determines, after careful consideration, whether or not they should A) bark hysterically, B) raise hackles and rush madly but mutely to the door, or C) just keep hanging out and shredding stuffed toys.  Options A and B are obviously Clara’s preferred choice, and there was ample opportunity for both as the house remodeling crews came and went during our recent visit.  But like a good pack dog, she follows her leader.  If option C can’t be avoided, she demonstrates her distaste with one disgruntled backwards “woof” as she returns to her cushion.  It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.


Gracie, An Elegant Dog (of Unknown Pedigree)

"Gracie," mixed media by Kerry McFall, copyright 2013

“Gracie,” mixed media by Kerry McFall, copyright 2013

Gracie and her person, Jeana, were our hostesses while we stayed in Dallas.  Gracie, during the rare moments when she was NOT plotting to steal socks and slippers so we would play Keep-Away with her, was a very elegant dog.  Her coloring was Harlequin – a bit of gold, bit of brown, bit of white.  She had incredibly intense ice blue eyes, so maybe there’s a little bit of Huskie in her family tree, but also a bit of Egyptian Goddess given the perfect thick black eyeliner around them.  One seemingly arched black eyebrow gave her a constantly quizzical look.  Her smooth short hair was soft, her tail was deadly at full wag, and her Boxer or Bulldog nose was always on the alert for the aroma of socks – or shoes might do in a pinch.

Her ears were tall and alert, reminiscent of a Great Dane, and given her size (70 pounds?) that could be a real possibility too.  She did not appreciate being photographed, though, so my first sketch (“Not Quite Gracie,” below) was a composite of several shots snapped as she ran way, and clearly I had the ears and nose too long.  I started over using a couple of photos that Jeana had taken, and finally got the proportions just about right.  I’ve decided I quite like drawing dogs!

"Not Quite Gracie," mixed media by Kerry McFall

“Not Quite Gracie,” mixed media by Kerry McFall